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Achilles' Heels of Health Care Systems


  • Mertl Jan

    (Department of budgetary policy and public sector management, Institute of Finance and Administration, Prague, Czech Republic)


The aim of this article is to research the organization of health care systems and their typical failures in relationship with the need for health care. It is based on extensive theoretical background from economics and social policy, where the concepts used have already been defined. It emphasizes the differences between public and private insurance, and the various models of health care. It shows waiting lists, deficits and not realized health care as inevitable attributes of particular model. While based theoretically, it pays attention to empirical evidence in countries that are the most similar to their theoretical incarnation, e. g. the British model of publicly financed government-owned health care facilities, German model of publicly financed private providers and the American model of privately financed private providers. Finally it discusses the question of convergence of health care systems and the possible way of solving the issues described.

Suggested Citation

  • Mertl Jan, 2010. "Achilles' Heels of Health Care Systems," Review of Economic Perspectives, De Gruyter Open, vol. 10(1), pages 21-40, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:reoecp:v:10:y:2010:i:1:p:21-40:n:2

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